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VIZIO ‘Fallen Tree’

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Conceived by a creative ensemble at David&Goliath, Dante Ariola of MJZ directed this ad which shows a family so captivated by their VIZIO Ultra HD TV, that they don’t even notice that a giant tree has come crashing into their home. The spot titled 'Fallen Tree' is the first in a series of ads all shot in super slo-mo to show off the sharpness and resolution of Ultra HD. 

After a number of iterations in the pre-visualization stage, a simple circular camera move was agreed upon and footage was shot using motion-control with the Phantom 4kFlex camera. Having tested frame rates prior to shooting, VFX Supervisor Rob Hodgson determined 220fps would give the right look to the action. This would mean that the camera had to rotate 250 degrees in about 3 seconds, making it a fast move. Rob comments, "We found that the motion control rig was physically unable to rack focus within very specific tolerances and small slices of time. It was determined to keep the action sharp wherever possible, and to mimic rack focus in post during compositing. This kept options open for when (or if) we wanted to change the focus, or indeed if we wanted to "extend" the depth of field as if it was shot with a smaller aperture."

The Fallen Tree spot was a set that was partial interior / exterior, requiring different exposures for the interior section (people sitting around TV), exterior (fireman, background action, water) and mid-ground (interior firemen and destructed house). The shoot crew put up a 60' bluescreen at the back of the set to isolate the foreground and midground action. This meant that the Method team could use practical elements of the water spout and chainsaw woodchips, and be able to key it over background matte painting rooftop extensions that would be added later in comp.

The majority of the post work entailed combining the multiple passes of motion control - allowing editorial to choose the best takes of the talent, whether it be an actor looking at the TV or a water jet coming from a broken water main. A challenge for the compositors involved blending plates with variable focus, and variable exposures, which needed to look natural and seamless. Additional CG sawdust was generated to match in to the dynamics of the practical sawdust shot on set, giving flexibility and an enhanced realism.


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